What is HDTV?
HDTV stands for high-definition television (HDTV). It is a digital television broadcasting system which offers higher resolution compared to standard-definition TV or SDTV, among traditional television systems. Broadcasts for HDTV are currently digital, developing from its earliest models, which used analog broadcasting.
High Definition TV was first developed in 1969 by NHK, the Japanese state broadcaster. HDTV was then demonstrated in the United States in 1981, and several systems were developed, but were rejected by the Federal Communications Commission, as it required higher bandwidth requirement. In 1993 the FCC encouraged four competing proponents to join forces and develop High Definition Television with a low bandwidth requirement. This “Grand Alliance” system was tested and recommended to the FCC by the end of 1995. Finally, on Christmas Eve of 1996, the FCC approved the digital television standard on December 24, 1996 and the first HDTV components were introduced to the public two years later.
What are the advantages and benefits of HDTV?
High Definition TV offers several advantages and benefits. Here are some of the major ones:
- High Definition TV offers unprecedented clarity. As HDTV is transmitted via a digital signal, the viewer is assured of crystal clear and noise-free reception.
- High Definition TV provides unequaled sharpness. HDTV offers the viewer much sharper pictures than currently prevalent analog television. The highest resolution HDTV format can deliver approximately 2 million pixels, unlike analog TVs which can only show up to about ½ million pixels. Of course, more pixels mean sharper and more precise-looking pictures. Also, HDTVs have more number of lines of resolution. Thus, the visual information of images on HDTV is more or less 2 to 5 times sharper. This is because the gaps between the scan lines are narrower and are not visible to the naked eye anymore.
- High Definition TV offers the most crisp and defined sound. As HDTV is transmitted via a digital signal, it contains digital sound. High Definition TV’s digital audio naturally sounds better than a standard television’s sound, which is analog. HDTVs usually have Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, allowing TV viewers access to full surround sound features. HDTV sound can be compared to the best cinema surround sound, ensuring high-class quality entertainment in the comforts of your home.
- High Definition TV provides a wider screen picture. HDTV uses a 16 by 9 aspect ratio. With this size of picture, sides of pictures which are usually cropped and cut, especially those in theatrical films can now be seen. Traditional televisions only use a 4 by 3 aspect ratio. This means the screens are 4 units wide by 3 units high. This means a lot of a picture’s sides can not be seen in a traditional TV. HDTV presents a bigger screen aspect ratio, ensuring a more intense and enjoyable viewing experience.
- High Definition TV also allows viewers to tune into more than one program on the same channel. Since HDTV is transmitted digitally, it also allows for electronic program guides, additional languages and subtitles.